19,224 TEU MSC Maya to make Colombo maiden call on Sept 16"

MSC Maya

ONE of the largest ships afloat, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) of Switzerland-owned 19,224 TEU MSC Maya, is expected to call on Sri Lanka for the first time, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port of Colombo, terminal operator CICT said in a statement.

19,224 TEU MSC Maya to make Colombo maiden call on Sept 16

ONE of the largest ships afloat, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) of Switzerland-owned 19,224 TEU MSC Maya, is expected to call on Sri Lanka for the first time, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port of Colombo, terminal operator CICT said in a statement.

The company said it had secured a commitment for a scheduled service by the Panama registered MSC Maya, the largest containership to ever berth in Colombo.

The 395.49-metre vessel is expected at the Colombo South Terminal managed by CICT on September 16, replacing a smaller vessel owned by MSC.

"The arrival of the MSC Maya in Colombo is a perfect example for the rationale for a deep water terminal of the scale of the Colombo International Container Terminal," said CICT chief executive Ray Ren. 

"It was precisely to attract such Ultra Large Container Carriers (ULCC) that CICT fast-tracked the completion of the terminal, enabling it to commence operations 32 months ahead of schedule. We are now seeing the results of that achievement," he said.

Said CICT commercial and marketing chief Tissa Wickramasinghe: "The port achieved double digit growth in 2014 with CICT coming on stream, and this year we are able to sustain double-digit growth due to our ability to attract more ULCC vessels such as MSC Maya."

Mr Wickramasinghe said the benefit of these ships cascades down to the other terminals in the port, reinforcing Colombo's status as major transshipment hub.

The vessel is calling on Colombo as part of the Swan service operating on a port rotation of Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Suez, Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Xingang, Quingdao, Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Algeciras and Felixstowe.

CICT closed 2015 with an impressive 1.5 million TEU, with the ULCC and Very Large Container Carrier (VLCC) segments making a 67 per cent contribution to that volume. The company is a member of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited, the world's second largest global terminal operator by throughput. 

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